Summit to harmonize national eco-label schemes in support of international sustainable production
25 November 2020
  • Sustainable Public Procurement
Conference to develop common sustainability criteria

Despite difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Environmental Labelling Organization of China (CEC-China Environmental United Certification Center), Japan (JEA - Japan Environment Association) and Korea (KEITI - Korea Environmental Industry Technology Research Institute) gathered at an online meeting on September 23rd-24th to discuss expanding the foundation of a mutual recognition system, including the development of new CJK (China-Japan-Korea) common core criteria, also known as stage 3.

CJK environmental labelling cooperation is a topic of the Tripartite Environmental Enterprises Round table under the mechanism of the Tripartite Environment Ministers' Meeting, which aims to enhance exchanges among environmental enterprises of the three countries. Over the past decade, 11 CJK common core criteria have been developed from ‘Computer’ (2007) to ‘Furniture’ (2019) which have contributed to enhancing export channels for certified companies and expanding the market for eco-friendly products in Northeast Asia. 

At this meeting, 10 harmonized elements in this common criteria (“Printing Ink”) were finally drawn. And the tripartite organizations agreed that “Finishing materials for Wall” and “Paper Diapers” were considered as next targets of 2021 and 2022, respectively.

Furthermore, the three organizations discussed ‘Cases of proxy verification’ and ‘Environmental Cooperation’ for intensifying cooperation among the three countries. 

Through this online meeting, all agencies reconfirmed ‘The needs for establishing global cooperation system for SCP (Sustainable Consumption and Production)’ and felt certain of the ‘Post-Pandemic, Possibility of applying online-meeting’. Finally, the three parties agreed that mutual recognition of environmental labelling among CJK has achieved some results in promoting green trade for many years, more efforts should be put into implementation in the future.


Eco-labelling acceptance has been growing worldwide as a market-based instrument to promote pollution prevention and sustainability. Each national programme reflects differing domestic environmental priorities, so to avoid potential trade barriers and to facilitate more sustainable production worldwide, it is helpful to develop mutual recognition programmes and common core criteria.

Global Ecolabelling Network members are encouraged to sign mutual recognition agreements on common core criteria (CCC). CJK started their tripartite cooperation on environmental labeling in 2007, discussing the formulation of CCC implementation rules and working procedures and continuously developing new CCC categories. The three parties identify the common parts of the standard through the comparison of the standards. If the product has obtained the certification of one party and applies for the certification of the other two parties, the verification of the common part can be exempted. Therefore, it can greatly improve the efficiency of enterprises applying for certification and effectively promote trade facilitation. 

  • Sustainable Public Procurement